Thursday, August 24, 2006

Summertime has come and gone

Summer is slipping through my fingers. Before I know it, the wind will get crisper and the leaves will turn colors. I'm kind of looking forward to it. I love fall. But there's always a kind of nostalgia that accompanies the end of summer and return to "normal" life -- in my case, life at school, which at this point hardly seems normal at all. It's hard to remember that life; I feel so much different now, having spent the summer on my own, making new friends and working at a real newspaper -- I feel like I've grown up to the extent that it's made me almost a different person than who I was last year. I guess that's how it is. But it's good. I haven't forgotten the people I love at school. There are so many things I'm looking forward to, so many things to get back into, and I can't wait for it all to happen.
And as I'm growing older, I'm bored,
and I remember when misery thrilled me much more
when I can't relax, and I'd like to go back.
But that's gone -- yeah, that's gone.
Turn around; turn the volume down.
We're counting the days down. ...

Oh, what fun,
I can't wait till the future gets here.

- Ben Folds Five, "Video"
It seems as if things have gone by so fast, but when I look back, it's hard to imagine that at one point I was living in an apartment in the city with two months left to go until I had to move. Now look where I am: in the suburbs with my nana with two days until it's all over -- summer, my internship, all the crazy adventures -- but are they really? I see it as just moving on to a new set of adventures, which are sure to ensue. I love fall semester. Everything seems so new. I always hearken back to my freshman year, when everything held such potential, when we'd walk on the street and not care about the harassing from upperclassmen driving by us in their cars who knew we were freshmen by our sheer numbers. Football games, parties, the freedom the not-too-hot, not-too-cool weather gave us. It brings back good feelings when I think about it. Last year, I tried to bring those feelings back, but I just couldn't quite do it. Now there are new memories from last year that bring me back and make me want to reproduce them in this year, but I know it won't be possible. Still, there are new memories to be made, and I'm more than ready to begin that process. I have a good feeling about this year, in particular, but I'm not sure why.
I don't recall a single care,
just greenery and humid air.
Then Labor Day came and went,
and we shed what was left of our summer skin.

- Death Cab for Cutie, "Summer Skin"
I said goodbye to someone last night. I hadn't seen much of him recently, and it had kind of bothered me, but I'm glad we could settle things before I left and not leave on awkward terms. We have this summer -- it's so amazing the people you meet. That's the fun of it all, to me: meeting people in the most random of situations. Most times it's temporary and fleeting, but moving on has its own merits, too. It's time I got to moving on. I'm just waiting for the time when it can all happen.

I'm ready to go back to campus. I feel like I'll be starting over there, like I'm a new person. It's hard to explain, because as much as I have changed, I really haven't all that much. The more things change, the more they really stay the same.

I've been kind of on a depressed streak lately, but yesterday something unknown happened, and I broke through. I think I was just anxious, and now that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I can be at ease. So bring on the next adventure. I'm ready.
Summertime has come and gone,
all used up with wishful thinking.
Get sussed out; get cynical.
In this world, there are no second chances. ...
I will tear myself apart
if you promise to paint me as a work of art.

- Bloc Party, "Always New Depths"

Saturday, August 19, 2006

It's called a funeral

I'm coming up only to hold you under
and coming up only to show you wrong.
And to know you is hard, we wonder.
To know you, all wrong we were.

Really too late to call, so we wait for
morning to wake you is all we got.
To know me as hardly golden
is to know me, all wrong they were.

At every occasion, I'll be ready for a funeral.
Every occasion once more, it's called a funeral.
Every occasion, I'm ready for a funeral,
at every occasion of 1 billion-day funeral.

I'm coming up only to show you down for
and coming up only to show you wrong.
To the outside, the dead leaves -- they are alive,
for they don't have trees to hang their home.

- Band of Horses, "The Funeral"

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

'I am job'

Ten days until I return home for the weekend before heading back to Syracuse for my junior year. It's exciting, saddening and all the time intriguing. The summer's definitely been worth it: I've learned a lot, gained job experience, got a clip, made lots of friends, did lots of partying and had fun. I'm just looking forward to the next adventure under the skies, whatever that is.

I got a job at the front desk at Goldstein. I'm glad I found something, because I was getting worried about not being able to find anything and possibly being forced to work the dining hall. ... This job pays only $6.75 an hour, 10 hours a week with two- to four-hour shifts. Shouldn't be too bad, and we get to do work if we pay attention to what's going on around us at the same time. I was also thinking about either Syra-Juice or becoming a barista at Starbucks, but I can always save those ideas for my senior year. Lord knows they may even pay better. Don't Starbucks baristas get tips sometimes?

I finally finished and submitted my espresso centerpiece for The Link. I'm not sure yet when it will run, but I know I'll be getting paid in October, so perhaps sometime around then, or maybe a little sooner. I need someone to send me a copy of The Buffalo News when it runs.

OK, so I know I said I wouldn't, but a week and a half of weak coffee without the luxury of a creamy head of foamed milk has made me start to miss my espresso machine. I saw an electric pump machine by Hamilton Beach in Target the other day for just $10 more than I spent on my Krups steam machine, and my heart sank; I wanted it bad. Maybe next year I'll splurge on a real nice one. The one I have now isn't even a year old yet ...

Speaking of new appliances, I bought a new CD/DVD combo drive for my laptop, because the one I have now finally took a crap. It had been acting up on me since it came with the computer, so I finally got a really nice deal on a used one (exact same model as I have now, only I assume this one actually works) on Ebay. This is one reason I can't wait to get home: I get to play with all the new goodies I've purchased. I should have had them sent here, but whatever. One and a half more weeks won't be too bad.

I'm not looking forward to the last stretch of work. I have today and tomorrow off, then eight days of straight night shifts. I wish I had more opportunities to cook dinner (I'm making orange/garlic pan-seared tilapia with corn on the cob and Italian salad tonight), because that's where I get real pleasure out of my day ... that and watching Food Network. Perusing food Web sites during downtime at work just doesn't do it much for me anymore.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The bottom the Earth I have to fall

Been at Nana's for a couple days now. I hate smelling like smoke all the time and putting up with it when she lights up, but there's cable, coffee, bran cereal and broadband, which I tapped into for my laptop through the router my uncle made her get. I guess I'll just have to buy a bottle of Febreze ...

I'm glad to have today and tomorrow off. I have to get to work on that espresso story for "The Link." It's due next week. It's also nice to be able to rest from work for awhile. Believe it or not, it's kind of hectic, especially at night. Maybe it's just because you spend most of your time waiting around for stories, and you never know when the next one's coming. Still, it's fun hanging out with the night people. I'll be on mornings this Wednesday to Friday. At least I'll be able to go to the Square on Thursday. Tea Leaf Green's coming, which is really exciting.

I have nothing else to say, really, so here's my schedule for the rest of my internship:
Week of Aug. 7
Wednesday to Friday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Saturday 3 to 11 p.m.
Sunday 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Week of Aug. 14
Monday/Tuesday/Friday 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Saturday 3 to 11 p.m.
Sunday 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Week of Aug. 21
Monday to Friday 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.
It'll be nice to be on mornings this week. I consider it a sort of vacation. I'll have time to read and hang out with the other interns, most of whom are there during the day. Otherwise I hardly see them these days, except for on weekends at the bars.

I really miss Scott. He's planning a trip to Syracuse when I'm there. I hope he can stay for a week or so. I don't know what's going to happen when he lives far away. Denver's pretty far, but Boston or New York City aren't that workable, either. I'm scared.

I think I planned on writing more, but I guess I lost track of what I was doing.

Friday, August 04, 2006

At every occasion, I'll be ready for a funeral

The apartment looks very empty, only for the pile of boxes and bags of all my packed belongings sitting by the door. My parents should be here in about an hour to help me move to Nana's. It's weird to be leaving, but I'm looking forward to a bigger kitchen, cable and a car, even if it means moving out to suburbia. I'll probably still make trips to Delaware Park and my old haunts in Allentown; it's just a short trip on the highway, after all.

I can't stop listening to Band of Horses, a new band I heard playing in a friend's car. They sound so much like the Shins, the Flaming Lips and maybe a little Coldplay and Neil Young. The singer, Ben Bridwell, reminds me most of Shins singer James Mercer; it's almost eerie how alike they sound, though I'm tempted to say Band of Horses' music is more powerful in its attack on the emotions.

Here are some snippets from Stephen M. Deusner's March 20 Pitchfork review that I think really hits the mark about the band's debut album (and only to date), "Everything All the Time":
"... Turning despondency into indie majesty is a major talent of Band of Horses; their music is carefully balanced to evoke specific emotional responses while allowing space for personal projection.
"... Their guitar-heavy sound and Bridwell's echo-y vocals invite specific comparisons to labelmates the Shins as well as My Morning Jacket ... While apt, these comparisons seem restrictive and reductive, but their limitations can be illuminating.
"... Still, every element and track on Everything contributes to the album's wistful, twilit atmosphere, from its first cascading guitar chords to its final rueful strums.
" ... Ultimately, the band's most winning trait is its delicate balance of elements -- between gloom and promise, quiet and loud, epic and ordinary, familiar and new, direct and elliptical, artist and listener. Each of these aspects makes the others sound stronger and more complex, making 'Everything All the Time' an album that's easy to get lost in and even easier to love."
My favorite song has to be "The Funeral," which I've been listening to nonstop for the past few days. Songs like that you have to conserve in your listening, because they run the risk of becoming overplayed, even if they're not on the radio. I've found it's best to limit your listening of a song you really like in order to preserve its newfound favored place in your heart.

My Aug. 10 edition of Rolling Stone (with Plant and Page on the cover!) finally made it, albeit a bit tattered. It came a week late, I think. Mail here always takes forever for some reason, even though it's here by 9:30 every morning. I already diverted my magazine subscriptions (Rolling Stone and Food & Wine) to my Syracuse address.

Heather and I are already planning the first party for our apartment. I'm really looking forward to this year. I keep thinking more and more about the return to SU every day. Three more weeks at The Buffalo News and I'm off.

I just wish I could have spent a little more time at home with my family. All truth be told, I kind of miss spending time with them and the simplicity of home, where you can relax and not have to worry about deadlines or noise or when next month's rent is due. We're all growing up, leaving home. My brother's going full time with One Foot Forward this fall, so my parents will finally have both of us out of the house, with the exception of the occasional visit and vacation time. I'm glad I'll have four-day weekends this semester; it'll give me some time to kick back at home.
"You know that point in your life when you realize that the house you grew up in isn't really your home anymore? All of a sudden, even though you have some place where you can put your stuff, that idea of home is gone. ... You'll see when you move out. It just sort of happens one day, and it's just gone, and you can never get it back. It's like you get homesick for a place that doesn't exist. I mean, it's like this rite of passage, you know? You won't have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself -- for your kids, for the family you start. It's like a cycle or something. I miss the idea of it. Maybe that's all family really is: a group of people who miss the same imaginary place."
- Zach Braff as Andrew Largeman in "Garden State"